VDC Research Blog

The Evolution of the SIM Card: eSIM, iSIM, & Beyond

by Rowan Litter | 12/13/2022

In 2021 there were over 8 billion mobile device subscriptions worldwide, which is more than the total number of people in the world. These subscriptions are identified by Subscriber Identity Modules, or SIM cards. SIM cards are smart modules that are integrated into mobile devices and authenticate them to operate on a cellular network. Learn more

New Standards are Driving Automotive Cybersecurity Development

by Paige Ludl | 11/28/2022

Automotive cybersecurity is set to become a key feature in software-defined vehicles, with a variety of standards emerging to ensure the safety and security of connected vehicles. Functional safety standards, such as ISO 26262, have been implemented across the automotive industry, but cybersecurity has only recently been addressed. Both safety and security play an important role in securing various imbedded systems, and satisfying different functional safety standards increasingly requires proportional investments in security. Learn more

TC15 balances price and value in the African market

by Emily Gove | 11/28/2022

Zebra Technologies has announced the launch of its TC15 into the African market, offering a new rugged device for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the manufacturing, transportation, field services, retail, and hospitality verticals. Coupling premium features of the Zebra brand with a competitive price, the TC15 promises to shake up a market typically dominated by low-cost regional manufacturers and consumer-grade devices. Learn more

AUTOSAR Adaptive & Classic Critical for Modern Automotive Software Development

by Paige Ludl | 11/16/2022

Software development will be a key battleground for the automotive industry in order to support the push towards autonomous vehicles (AV). A focus on automation, connectivity, electrification and sharing will drive automotive trends forward and significantly influence software development. A standard software architecture is necessary for mitigating the largest obstacle to the development and growth of the connected vehicle industry, which is the complexity of automotive systems. Learn more

Awake at the Wheel – Innovations in Fatigue Monitoring

by Emily Gove | 10/12/2022

Amid extreme weather and record port congestion, smooth supply chains have come to feel like a distant memory. The need to navigate new challenges is more urgent than ever, and shippers are pushing much of their urgency onto logistics providers: the truck drivers, maritime crews, and aviators operating in ever‑shorter timeframes. Learn more

Swedish Rugged Mobile Computing OEMs Combine with MilDef Acquisition of Handheld Group

by Rowan Litter & Emily Gove | 10/07/2022

With MilDef’s recent acquisition of Handheld Group, changes are in store for both companies as they work together to expand their market presence. VDC Research Analyst Rowan Litter spoke with Handheld Group CEO Thomas Löfblad to discuss the transition. Learn more

The Modern Digital Enterprise: Integration Barriers and Opportunities

by Rowan Litter | 08/31/2022

Mobile analytics are quickly becoming an essential part of everyday life in the modern world. With businesses and people looking to become the most efficient versions of themselves, the ability to analyze strengths and weaknesses is vastly important. Whether its businesses looking to shave off minutes of downtime to ensure maximum productivity or social media analyzing user data to produce an individualized platform, analytics have a strong hold on how we experience our everyday lives. With the current transition into smart solutions, data on how to best run these new technologies will be critical moving forward. Learn more

Semtech’s Acquisition of Sierra Wireless: What Happens Next?

by Steve Hoffenberg | 08/05/2022

Semtech has been a US-based supplier of semiconductors and related technology since Dwight Eisenhower was the President (1960). But it wasn’t until 2012 that the company acquired a small French firm called Cycleo for the price of $5M, in what we at VDC said “might be viewed years from now as one of the greatest bargains ever for a tech acquisition." Cycleo had developed the intellectual property for a new long‑range wireless network technology which Semtech dubbed LoRa, and began to supply LoRa chipsets and license the IP to other chipmakers. (The company does not build or operate LoRa networks.) Learn more

Mobile Traffic Analytics & a Connected Future

by Greg Amador | 07/22/2022

Mobile analytics are quickly becoming an essential part of everyday life in the modern world. With businesses and people looking to become the most efficient versions of themselves, the ability to analyze strengths and weaknesses is vastly important. Whether its businesses looking to shave off minutes of downtime to ensure maximum productivity or social media analyzing user data to produce an individualized platform, analytics have a strong hold on how we experience our everyday lives. With the current transition into smart solutions, data on how to best run these new technologies will be critical moving forward. Learn more

Cybersecurity: The Promise & Peril of a Hybrid Workforce

by Emily Gove | 07/19/2022

Amidst major events of the last three years, risk assessments have become a critical part of leadership discussions. Hybrid and remote work, long dismissed as a threat to office “culture” and productivity, are expected job components for new employees; however, amid a multi‑year pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and ongoing waves of the “great resignation,” cybersecurity has fallen low on executives’ priority lists, putting them at a growing risk of cyberattacks through their hybrid workforces. At the dawn of the pandemic, a VDC end-user survey showed that over 40% of leadership in sectors ranging from public safety to healthcare to transportation viewed strong IT infrastructure as the most important contributor to pandemic adaptability. Strong infrastructure has become increasingly harder to maintain: there are now a range of cybersecurity risks faced by companies around hardware, software, and connectivity, with the added human risks deriving from both employees and their employers. Learn more

Coding & Marking Automation Gaining Momentum – Varying Software-Centric Approaches Considered to Improve Accuracy and Consistency

by Richa Gupta | 07/13/2022

Automation is critical today for enhancing manufacturing productivity and in meeting customer expectations for product quality and traceability. Manufacturers are leveraging a variety of solutions as need for accurate on-package information grows, accelerated by requirements around coordination, synchronization, and consistency in data access/use across globally distributed locations. VDC’s recently concluded primary research on coding and marking solutions – which are used at every level of packaging to print batch numbers, lot numbers, logos, MRP, expiry date, barcodes, etc. – highlights several interesting insights on this highly fragmented marketplace. Learn more

Global Chip Shortage will Persist into 2023

by Connor Martins and Dan Mandell | 06/24/2022

The global raw materials and chip shortage continues with us in Q2 2022, exacerbated by a variety of cross-industry issues, geo-political forces, and the economic consequences of a stubborn pandemic. An extreme shortage of semiconductors occurred as a result of spikes in demand for consumer electronics, electric vehicles, sensors, and connected devices in general. Skyrocketing raw materials prices and natural disasters have worsened the situation, forcing embedded processor suppliers to consider tradeoffs involving pricing strategies and severe capacity constraints. As a result, most of the executives of leading embedded processor market players forecast similar semiconductor supply-demand deficits to persist beyond 2022. As the supply chain crisis grows more complicated, so too do its implied solutions, and VDC Research subsequently sees the interrelated chip shortage continuing into 2023. Learn more

The RSA Conference is Back, Now With More IoT

by Steve Hoffenberg | 06/13/2022

Back in 2020, RSA was the last conference I attended—and the last tech industry event to occur—before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down nearly all large public gatherings. Now that many events have resumed, RSA 2022 in San Francisco is the first conference that I’ve attended in more than two years. (And not having left the Eastern US time zone in the interim, I apparently forgot that jet lag was a thing.) This year’s RSA included more than 26,000 attendees, compared to 36,000 in 2020, and 42,000 in 2019. Although the aisles were notably less crowded than pre-pandemic, even with less exhibit space occupied, there was still plenty of activity. Learn more

Lighter and Mightier: New Rugged Devices on Opposite Ends of the Spectrum Released by Zebra Technologies and Panasonic

by Emily Gove and Rowan Litter | 06/09/2022

Two new rugged device lines have recently been announced, which have promising features designed to improve usability and durability for their respective markets. Zebra Technologies has announced the release of two new members of its TC5X Series of mobile computers (TC53 and TC58), while Panasonic is launching its new TOUGHBOOK 40 laptop. With the TC5X devices offering optimized screen size and enhanced dimensioning capabilities, and the TOUGHBOOK 40 exceeding durability standards of past devices, these new products will collectively cater to a wide range of user needs. Learn more

The Impact of Recent Acquisitions on Peak Technologies’ Future Outlook

by Greg Amador | 06/08/2022

Peak Technologies is one of the market leaders in the AIDC space, offering digital supply chain solutions utilizing enterprise printing, labeling, mobile data collection and a full suite of lifecycle and managed services. Peak focuses on end markets such as manufacturing, wholesale distribution, e‑commerce, transportation, and logistics and retail. In April 2021, Peak Technologies was acquired by Sole Source Capital, a private equity firm that thematically invests in fragmented, high‑growth industrial subsectors. Sole Source seeks founder-owned businesses or corporate carve‑outs that will benefit from the team’s operating and M&A capabilities. Sole Source Capital has a strong operating heritage that enables it to execute a buy and build strategy with significant downside protection. Learn more

Welcome to the Industrial Metaverse: XR Powerhouse Roundtable Discussion – Key Implications for enterprise mobility

by James Asselmeyer and Rowan Litter | 05/26/2022

On May 18, RealWear hosted Welcome to the Industrial Metaverse: XR Powerhouse Roundtable Discussion with Andrew Chrostowski (Board Chair & CEO| RealWear, Inc.), Indranil Sircar (CTO, Manufacturing Industry | Microsoft), Brain Vogelsang (Sr. Director, Product Management – AR | Qualcomm), and John Fan (Board Chair & CEO | Kopin). The discussion explored the benefits, challenges, technology requirements, and potential use cases of the industrial metaverse. Benefits are expected in productivity, access to data, and worker experience, but the panel anticipates the most impactful changes will relate to worker safety. For this technological revolution to occur and place safety at the forefront, the worker and physical world will always take priority over the digital world. Panelists stressed that, while much of the technology required for a metaverse experience in the enterprise already exists, there are still gaps which will be addressed in stages over the coming years. Learn more

Shipium Raises Largest Ever Series A by Supply Chain Software Provider, Highlighting a Strong Year for the Category

by James Asselmeyer | 5/4/2022

Shipium, a supply chain software company announced its Series A funding on April 14. The $27.5M funding round is the largest ever Series A for a supply chain software provider and brings the company’s total funding to $38.7M. Shipium, which calls itself a “fulfillment management platform for e‑commerce retail” posits that with the right modern solutions, any e‑commerce retailer can compete with Amazon. Amazon, the e‑commerce titan and de facto measuring stick for all things online retail, is on the resumes of both Mac Brown and Jason Murray, who co-founded Shipium in 2019. Learn more

Green Initiatives and Sustainability Practices are increasing in the World of Enterprise Mobility

by Rowan Litter | 05/02/2022

Climate change is one of the most important issues affecting the future of all life around the globe. Growing advocacy movements to address the causes of man-made climate change and prepare society for a greener future have led leaders in both the public and private sectors promising to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable practices. Governments are enacting policies that encourage the reduction of their nation’s carbon footprints, while enterprises are adapting to these policies with more sustainable and cleaner business models. In the world of enterprise mobility, solution providers are taking action to “go green” while also reducing the footprints of their customers. Learn more

Urban Centers Around the World Get Out in Front of Urban Air Mobility

by James Asselmeyer | 04/20/2022

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) – also known as Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) – has the potential to revolutionize life in urban centers for residents and enterprises. UAM has varying definitions across existing groups in the space, all of which refer to the airborne movement of goods and/or people in urban spaces, carried out by a highly automated VTOL drones; the Urban-Air-Mobility Initiative Cities Community (UIC2) of the European Union simply defines it as “very-low altitude airborne traffic, above populated areas, at scale.” Learn more

Organizations Challenged by Increasingly Complex DAQ Environments

by Jared Weiner | 03/18/2022

The global market for data acquisition (DAQ) solutions‑technologies used to convert physically or electrically measured signals such as temperature or pressure into digital output suitable for computer processing‑will continue to expand as business leaders worldwide increasingly emphasize the importance of data-driven decision making. Learn more

Philips Announces Expansion of PerformanceBridge Analytics Solution Into Cardiology

by James Asselmeyer | 03/17/2022

This week at the Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society conference in Orlando, Florida, Philips unveiled the latest development of its Enterprise Performance Analytics program. The company announced that its PerformanceBridge offering, which provides operational insights and deep analytics capabilities to radiology practices, will now be available to cardiology practices. While mobile analytics have historically focused on the device itself, Philips’ offering is part of a new wave of mobile analytics programs which offer much more. Learn more

Utilizing Mobile Analytics and DaaS to Improve Seasonal Employee Onboarding and Efficiency

by Greg Amador | 03/10/2022

Mobile devices are becoming essential tools for enterprise operations across many verticals. Whether it’s providing consumers with mobile app options or utilizing mobile devices to increase employee productivity, enterprise mobility is one of the most influential trends for businesses today. While these mobile solutions are becoming increasingly popular amongst US businesses, they come with inherent challenges. Learn more

Loftware Continues to Expand its Solutions Portfolio with a Life Sciences-focused Acquisition

by Richa Gupta | 03/09/2022

Loftware, the global market leader for barcode labeling software, announced its acquisition of UK-based PRISYM ID in January. With this, the company further extends its position in the life sciences vertical, which has always been a key area of focus. PRISYM ID offers label management solutions for clinical trials, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. Learn more

Zebra Technologies Leads $25M Strategic Investment in Optoro, as Holiday Shopping Season Highlights Importance of Returns

by James Asselmeyer | 01/24/2022

On December 22, Optoro, Inc. announced a $25 million strategic investment led by Zebra Technologies. Also participating in the funding round were Volta Circle, eBay, and UPS. This investment comes as returns processes become a top‑of‑mind issue for retailers, brands, and 3PLs. Shifting consumer behaviors like the migration toward e-Commerce and the rise of bracketing have pushed returns volumes to new heights. Learn more

Partnership Expands Between Peak Technologies and B2M Solutions for Enterprise Mobility

by Rowan Litter | 01/19/2022

Today, B2M Solutions, a global enterprise mobile software company, announced an expansion of its partnership with Peak Technologies, a leading provider of end-to-end supply chain solutions, system integration, and managed services for enterprise mobility. With this partnership expansion, Peak Technologies will bundle B2M’s Elemez software suite as part of Peak Mobile Insights, the company’s managed service offering for enterprise customers. Learn more

Five Observations From CES 2022: “We’re Almost Back”

by David Krebs | 01/10/2022

In-person CES returned after a two-year hiatus…albeit with a bit of a whimper. Attendance was estimated by CES as “up to 75,000” although it felt closer to 50K on Day 1. Exhibitors numbered 2,200, a sharp drop from over 4,400 in 2020 and lacking several blue-chip vendors that pulled out in the 11th hour amid the current Omicron surge. Attendee safety was front and center with the CTA (the show’s organizer) tasked with the virtually impossible job of creating and enforcing safety protocols. With the backdrop of COVID-19 omni-present, health tech predictably took center stage at CES 2022. This extended to the big stage with Abbott CEO delivering one of the event’s keynote addresses. Learn more